Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What We Need

Many people have generously asked us what we need to get through this summer and Randy's Cancer Adventure. And we absolutely appreciate the offers to help. One of the things I really did learn last summer is that it's ok to ask for's ok to accept help...and that it is important to be open to receiving the help that we ask for.

Last summer I was largely out of commission when it came to cooking and cleaning, and many members of our community helped by preparing and delivering meals to us. Momma Teresa was--and is--the Ultimate Cleaner and for her help I am eternally grateful! And while we were very specific in our needs as a family, and we absolutely appreciated the help and the food and the generosity, the simple fact is that we are a family with special needs, we thrive on routine, and having food delivered did create some stress. Tastes, textures, and smells, all wreak havoc on autistic people, and so to decrease our family stress this summer, what is most helpful for us is gift cards to the following places (please and thank you):




Sunny Farms (for you out of towners, this is a local grocery store)

Drake's U-Bake Pizza & Subs (so we can grab sandwiches on our way to the lake or a pizza on the way home from the lake--or both!)

Tendy's Garden Chinese

Gastro Pub

Strait Slice Pizza

West Side Pizza

Applebee's (because I can get the boys out of the house, we can go to a park and play, and then go have lunch)

IHOP (Both Applebee's and IHOP are in Sequim, which is where the Cancer Center is, too.)

Please feel free to mail anything to:

Anderson Family
PO Box 97
Port Angeles, WA 98362

Please do NOT mail things to our physical address because we have had mail stolen out of our box. It's part of living in the country--our home is about 1/3 of a mile to the mailbox, which is on the main road, so having a PO Box is the easiest and safest thing for us! The Post Office in Port Angeles also accepts packages addressed to our PO Box; they notify us about any packages that come.

We absolutely appreciate the support of our community during this incredibly difficult time. It's not that we don't want to see folks...we simply need understanding from our friends that our schedule is pretty tight because Randy has radiation every day. Receiving mail will be the easiest thing for us...and it's exciting...we need to look at little things for excitement.

I'm not intending to sound rude...however, we just need fewer things to have to worry about...and while last summer, people stopping by with meals really did help all of us because it meant someone was coming by to say hi and bring us food...and especially helpful for Randy because he was the primary care giver for me as well as the boys (and seeing another grown-up during that time was very helpful for him!). But this summer, because I'm able to cook a couple of days a week, and the boys are ok eating leftovers, we need as few disruptions to our routine as possible, and gift cards are really the best thing for us as a family. We very much appreciate our family, friends, and community members respecting us and meeting us where we are.

We have help with hauling our trash and recycle to the dump (Thank you Orion!).

We have help with yard work (Thank you Danny!).

We do not anticipate any more trips to Seattle until a few weeks after Randy is done with all of his chemo and radiation we're looking at mid-September for that.

The only other major thing we will need help with is getting Randy to and from the Sequim Cancer Center for his radiation treatments, which are each weekday. He needs to arrive no later than 7:25 am, and it's about a 20 minute drive from our home to the Cancer Center. You'll need to arrive at our home no later than 7:00 am, please and thank you!

We've have several people who are willing to help with this. If you are interested in helping, please email me directly at and I will add you to the list. We are asking that one person commit to one day each week. So, for example, one person is dedicated to taking him and bringing him home each Monday, another person on Tuesday, and so on. That way, we know who is responsible for whichever day. So, if you could also let me know what day of the week you prefer (or if you have no preference, tell me that, too!) that would be helpful.

Starting July 27, there will be two days each week that Randy will be receiving an infusion of fluids, meaning that he'll have to sit for a couple of hours hooked up to a bag of saline. His medical oncologist ordered this because the type of chemotherapy Randy is receiving, as well as the radiation, both cause serious dehydration and can really do a number on a person's kidneys.

If you are the person responsible for transporting him on either Wednesdays or Fridays, you can drop him at the Cancer Center and then the boys and I can pick him up when he's done, since he'll be there until about 11. We certainly don't expect you guys to wait for him for 2-1/2 hours! that's what we need for now: gift cards to the above mentioned businesses and transporting the man to save his life. No pressure. And thanks in advance for the help and meeting us where we are.

Sending faith, hope, peace, and love to each of you.

Love from Team Anderson
Rachel, Randy, Nathan, Isaac, and Abby

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